The name “Lakelse” comes from the Coast Tsimshian language word “LaxGyels”, meaning “fresh water mussel” for the mollusk that is found on the bottom of both Lakelse Lake and Lakelse River. Lakelse Lake is the largest and warmest freshwater lake in Northwestern British Columbia, and is a local and tourist favourite for many lake activities.
6 Favourite Activities to do at Lakelse Lake
Swimming – Lakelse Lake is the largest warm water lake in northwestern British Columbia, making for enjoyable swimming experiences for visitors. Waterlily Bay offers a safe, sandy beach and a shallow swimming area for families, but as there is no lifeguard on site, please ensure that children wear a life jacket and are supervised at all times.
Kayaking & Canoeing – There are miles of beautiful shoreline to discover when canoeing or kayaking on the lake. Paddling close to the shore, you can see the lake bottom; fish swim under you and you might see an osprey or a bald eagle flying above you. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views of old growth forests and the lofty, often snow-tipped peaks of the Kitimat Mountains. Paddle out across the water to fish. Powerboating, waterskiing and jet skis are also popular, but the lake is large enough to accommodate plenty of boaters. Explore some of the rivers and streams that connect to the lake, many of which do not allow motorized watercraft.
Boating – Make sure to bring your boat to Waterlily Bay as we have a boat launch and a dock on site. Head out onto the lake to take in the lake’s shoreline of cedar, hemlock and spruce, and spend the day wakeboarding, waterskiing, fishing, or just soaking up the sun. Then head back to the resort, and kick back with a campfire while watching a beautiful sunset at the end of the day, listening to the haunting call of the loons across the lake.
Fishing – The lake and its tributaries are popular with anglers, who can pull all five species of Pacific salmon (chinook, chum, coho, sockeye, pink) as well as Dolly Varden, rainbow trout, whitefish and bull trout from the waterways. The Lakelse River boasts world-class salmon and steelhead runs. Anyone fishing or angling in BC aged 16 and older must have an appropriate license (visit the BC government’s Fish and Wildlife Branch’s website).
Stand Up Paddleboarding – Experience walking on water for fun and fitness! It’s a fantastic way to enjoy some exercise and experience the lake and its surroundings. Head out at dawn when the lake is calm to watch the sun come up and hear loons calling across the lake. Keep in mind that there are currently no rentals at the lake or in town, so it’s B.Y.O.P. – Bring Your Own Paddleboard!
Interpretive Walk at Twin Spruce Trail (July and August) – Interpretive walks are hosted by the Lakelse Watershed Stewards Society at Furlong Bay Provincial Park during July and August - check out the schedule here! The interpretive walk takes you along the Twin Spruce Trail, weaving through a spectacular old-growth forest of cedar, hemlock, and Sitka spruce. Watch for spawning salmon on the beach trail. Knowledgeable biology students share information about fish species, fish habitat, local vegetation, invertebrates and bats.